The Lost Radiohead album

by Jonathan on December 17, 2010

Take some time today to read this article about how Radiohead’s OK Computer and In Rainbows were meant to complement each other. Now, this is just speculation but some interesting points have been raised. What do you think?

Ten years after OK Computer shocked the world, Radiohead released In Rainbows on October 10 (10/10). Though no one was expecting the album to be released until 2008, Radiohead announced In Rainbows just ten days in advance. In Rainbows, which consists of ten letters, has ten tracks, and would be downloadable from a rumored ten servers.

Radiohead preceded the release of In Rainbows with nine cryptic messages. They repeatedly emphasized X, the Roman Numeral for ten, in phrases such as “March Wa X”, and “Xendless Xurbia”. The tenth message was posted on October 10 with a photo of the band drinking tea.

There has been a lot of speculation over Radiohead’s emphasis of ten surrounding the release of In Rainbows. One theory suggests that Radiohead was typifying a binary code of ones and zeros,1010101010. This has come to be known as the Binary Theory, also called the TENspiracy by some.

Puddlegum first addressed the Binary Theory in Radiohead: 1010101010. Someone associated with Thom Yorke contacted Puddlegum, sharing Thom’s reaction to Puddlegum’s article:

“The meaning behind all of this is right in front of our faces, we’re just overlooking it. [Thom] has been expecting an article much like this one for a couple of years, as have I. But I’m willing to wager he’ll have fun waiting a few more. On the other hand, it seems to annoy him that no one ‘gets it’ yet, given the mountain of clues.”

Ten days after our original article, we have come to believe that OK Computer and In Rainbowswere meant to complement each other. During the writing and recording process of OK Computer, Radiohead used the working title of Zeros and Ones. If OK Computer is represented by 01, and In Rainbows is represented by 10, then we have 01 and 10. In binary code 01 and 10 complement each other.

Consider that In Rainbows was meant to complement OK Computer, musically, lyrically, and in structure. We found that the two albums can be knit together beautifully. By combining the tracks to form one playlist, 01 and 10, we have a remarkable listening experience. The transitions between the songs are astounding, and it appears that this was done purposefully.

The lyrics also seem to complement each other. There appears to be a concept flowing through the01 and 10 playlist. Ideas in one song is picked up by the next, such as “Pull me out of the aircrash,”and “When I’m at the pearly gates, this will be my videotape.”

To create the 01 and 10 playlist, begin with OK Computer’s track one, Airbag, and follow this with In Rainbow’s track one, 15 Step. Alternate the albums, track by track, until you reach Karma Police onOK Computer, making All I Need the tenth track on the 01 and 10 playlist. Follow Karma Police withFitter Happier from OK Computer, for tracks eleven and twelve. These two tracks act as a bridge between the first ten and the following ten tracks on the 01 and 10 playlist. Then continue to alternate the albums again, picking up with Faust Arp on In Rainbows, with Electioneering on OK Computeras the following track.

Radiohead – 01 and 10 playlist:
1. Airbag (OK Computer)
2. 15 Step (In Rainbows)
3. Paranoid Android (OK Computer)
4. Bodysnatchers (In Rainbows)
5. Subterranean Homesick Alien (OK Computer)
6. Nude (In Rainbows)
7. Exit Music (For A Film) (OK Computer)
8. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (In Rainbows)
9. Let Down (OK Computer)
10. All I Need (In Rainbows)
11. Karma Police (OK Computer)
12. Fitter Happier (OK Computer)
13. Faust Arp (In Rainbows)
14. Electioneering (OK Computer)
15. Reckoner (In Rainbows)
16. Climbing Up The Walls (OK Computer)
17. House Of Cards (In Rainbows)
18. No Surprises (OK Computer)
19. Jigsaw Falling Into Place (In Rainbows)
20. Lucky (OK Computer)
21. Videotape (In Rainbows)
22. The Tourist (OK Computer) has more about this, as well as a conspiracy theory about Kid A.

(via Kottke)

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  • pale cat

    this would make a very good double album.

  • Eric P

    This is pretty damned amazing…

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  • Bill Paulsen

    Lyrically there may be able to reach parallels with the two albums but sonically it does NOT flow perfectly as stated. Exit Music into Weird Fishes definitely feels like a stretch and Fitter Happier into Faust Arp doesn’t sound that pleasing either. Match any of their albums up with In Rainbows and I’m sure relationships can be made but sorry… you have not convinced me here.

  • Jarod

    Ya it kinda seems like u guys are reading into it to much, i’m sure the number ten has significance with In Rainbows but not here.

  • juanp

    i can’t believe i just read this hole thing; you shoul seriosly start seeing some doctor about your delirium, it may help.

  • Not your friend

    This is so retarded, it’s not even funny …

  • Bec

    Sounds ok to me. If Radiohead didn’t do this on purpose, it at least makes a nice playlist!

    Adding a ten second crossfade in the playback settings helps tremendously.

  • Chables

    I think it sounds terrific. Regardless of whether that was their intention or not.

  • Cypher

    I think that “Karma Police” ends Disc 1 and “Fitter Happier” begins Disc 2. The tracks don’t crossfade nicely, and they’re the only two consecutive songs from the same album. I’ve the playlist set up in iTunes with it separated into two, and it sounds great. Plus, “Fitter Happier” sets the tone nicely for the second disc.

  • Tungsten

    When mental people have too much spare time…

    …still, a good excuse to listen to 2 great albums.

  • Erwann Maillot

    It means their 10th album Will be th last one !

  • Q Mallory

    If they really wanted to do that they would have made much more noticable transitions between songs. And since both albums still sound better on their own than strangely combined I doubt that this 01 10 theory is legit.

  • Anonymous

    The whole Kid A-9/11 thing is a stretch, you could probably say that Kid A predicted just about any man made or natural disaster. And whaddya know? That’s what half the songs are about. Listen to Idioteque! haha

    As far as the 10 thing, I wouldnt doubt that it was something Thom did on purpose just for fun. They’re radiohead, so why the fuck not?! Not sure about all of the songs lining up though, but definitely some. Also, Bodysnatchers ends with “I’ve seen them coming”, and on the playlist, next comes Subterranean Homesick Alien, a song about aliens ariving at earth! Kind of a strech as well, but ya never know with these 5!

  • Guest
  • Gonzo

    A lot of people like to read into things. You can read into basically anything. Take the Bible many people have read many things out of the bible. If it is something so cryptic who besides the band members are able to understand what is being said?

  • Subalien

    You just gotta love these “Conspiracy Theory”! People, with way too much time on their hands. They are both Great Albums, and should be left, just as that.

  • No

    Wish I had that kinda free time.

  • Esmo

    On the last page of the OK Computer sleeve notes the tracklist is lined up with the first 10 and then Lucky and The Tourist after a break. Now, that might be to indicate how some in the band (I think it was Thom?) wanted No Surpises to be the closer, but it’s one more piece of evidence for a cool if as-yet unprovable theory… I could well believe Radiohead constructing something like this, though I wonder if their plan was less over-arching than the theory makes it out to be, if this was the case.

  • Johnshoe

    Tried this and it was pretty awesome… can’t overlook the coincidences. But, you know, taking all of your Radiohead songs and playing them randomly is pretty cool too.

  • Darkstar

    I have been listening to the albums like this for almost 2 years now since it was first posted on the internet. little late to the party?

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  • Haha

    You should seriously learn to spell.

  • Johnyjoe

    The two albums are complimentary, sure, and I buy the whole 10 “conspiracy” (though I think it was more a neat opportunity the band spotted and took advantage of)…. but mixing the albums like this doesn’t work to well. The coincidences are more because the albums are structured similarly, but the song transitions are clearly unintentional.

    But maybe I’m just used to the albums. When I hear those beeps at the end of Airbag, all I can think of is Paranoid Android.

  • Tradada

    If this was a conspiracy theory about any other band, I would just laugh my ass off.
    But we are speaking about Radiohead… Iam not saying that this is all true, but I wouldnt be surprised if they would really pull-off such a creepy joke as this 🙂

    Screw 9/11 theory, this is atleast discutable 😀

  • Nogooddirtyrotten

    blah blah blah. I was doing this “complimenting” bullshit backk in the early days of Kid Amnesiac. Back then we called it “duelism” and we did it with pretty much everything on the WARP Records cat by means that are so much easier 10 years later.

    now that you’re interested, try playing Optimistic with There There sometime.

  • Nogooddirtyrotten

    or cooler yet,
    Hunting Bears and Elcipse by Pink Floyd

  • Dooj

    paul is dead.

  • 🙂 42 – The answer! Nice one. You see, 101010!

  • can I just say that A. 01 is not a real binary number because binary numbers can’t start with 0…it would just be one and B. 10 is binary for 2…1 and 2 don’t really “complement” each other except insofar as 2 comes after 1

  • Anon

    Also, when you create the playlist on say, iTunes, you’ll notice the alternating names under the “Album” column also show “0’s” & “1s” – rather with “O”s and “I”s from the first letter of each album (OK Computer/In Rainbows).

  • Nonlinear Labs

    i bet this idea could be continued on with disc 2 of in rainbows and the delux edition of ok computer that came out last year

  • Bsk

    No, this is just stupid. The beeps at the end of Airbag aren’t even close to the time signature for 15 Step. And you have to be smoking something pretty badass to think that Nude follows on from Subterranean Homesick Alien. And these are the best two examples?

    Finally, a _ten second_ crossfade will make _any_ song sound like it follows from the one before it.

  • selwell

    if its the 01 10 theory why aren’t the tracks ordered OK Computer, In Rainbows, In Rainbows, Ok Computer?

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  • vt

    01 and 10 are complements of each other. In binary logic, you “complement” a number by flipping the bits–so 1 becomes zero and zero becomes 1. 

  • i’m not buying the track to track mixing of the albums either. it may work and sound nice but, i doubt that this was what the band intended from this whole 0-1 theory usage.
    if anyone wants an album that has a hidden track blend, listen to Lateralus by TOOL. its obvious that tracks 6 and 7 blend together because they are PARABOL and PARABOLA- a two part song. but if you mix the whole album in this order than you’ll notice the tracks blend almost perfectly into the next. Parabol, Parabola, Schism, Ticks & Leeches, Mantra, Lateralus, Faaip de Oiad, The Grudge, Triad, Eon Blue Apocalypse, Reflection, The Patient, Disposition. Looking at it by track #’s you can see the design of the album a little easier the way the tracks line up in this order.which would be 6-7-5-8-4-9-13-1-12-2-11-3-10.
    4    \
    5\    \
    6\    \
    7///    ///
    8//    ///
    9/    ///    
    10 ///  

  • anony moose

    No chance. That rubbish was released by EMI after Radiohead left the label. It’s just them trying to squeeze a cash cow. Radiohead didn’t even want that released.

  • Guest

    If 1 is “on” and 0 is “off,” then the alternating pattern of 1’s and 0’s can be stated as on, off, on, off, etc. In Faust Arp, Thom says “It’s on again, off again, on again.” This doesn’t really relate to OK Computer at all, but to does relate to the mysterious use of 10. I thought it was interesting.

  • guest

    Sure they compliment each other, but not that well…

  • Wlzkelly1978

    Horse dung!  What about the bonus disc of 8 tracks included with In Rainbows? 

    INSTRUCTIONS: Repeat a few ditties from OK COMPUTER several times and follow on then with LAST FLOWERS which is track 5 on the bonus disc for IN RAINBOWS and then jump into LOTUS FLOWER from THE KING OF LIMBS album which is also track 5 % [MYSTERIOUS ISN’T IT?] % and then if you’re feeling really enthusiastic about all this nonsense of meticulously searching for connections between things which don’t exist, launch your earhole into track NO. 5 – yes folks, that’s right – I said track NO. 5, of KID A where you’ll find a wee tune called TREEFINGERS! Anyway, by the end of it all you will have enriched your life with a load of utter rubbish and the purpose of which remains the biggest mystery of all. 

    Possible codes for L.F.: 

    Lost Fight
    Last Fart
    Limp Finger – (ties in with The King of Limbs album just nicely and perhaps the spider plant??? Of course, we can see the connections here between the Spider plant and three abovementioned tracks, can’t we?) 

    Go to bed people. Have a nice glass of water and go to bed. 

  • Anthony Langford

    Sounds like total bullshit but I still prefer it over The King of Limbs. Should be retitled, The King of Dismembered Limbs. Let’s be honest, in comparison to In Rainbows, its a truly terrible misfire. RH have reached the point where they can fart and people scream genius, which I think does them, and us, a real disservice.

  • Some of the transitions with the crossfader on are too complimentary to be an accident. Actual musicians know this.

  • luke

    It’s 01 and 10. 01 is OK Computer, and 10 is In Rainbows because it’s 10 years after OK Computer. Also, 01/10 can be seen as how the two sections of the playlist begin and end, if 0 is OK Computer and 1 is In Rainbows.

  • Luke

    The binary theory and the 01 and 10 theory are not the same.

  • Luke

    Right back at ya…

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  • rtb2824

    I’m not trying to say it doesn’t work and this is wrong, if anything it is only more testament to the production genius of it, but if you found yourself at all underwhelmed by this; Humor me, if you will.

    1) start with the playlist as stated here and basically everywhere else on Internet.

    2) flip all the ‘In Rainbows’ tracks positions (that is, arrange them from last to first instead of first to last).

    3) [personal preference] start the show with “Fitter Happier”, move it from its center position up to the top.

    4) maintain the recommended 10 sec crossfade.

    The list will look like this:

    1. Fitter Happier
    2. Airbag
    3. Videotape
    4. Paranoid Android
    5. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
    6. Subterranean Homesick Alien
    7. House Of Cards
    8. Exit Music (For A Film)
    9. Reckoner
    10.Let Down
    11.Faust Arp
    12.Karma Police
    13.All I Need
    15.Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
    16.Climbing Up The Walls
    18.No Surprises
    21.15 Step
    22.The Tourist

    5) listen.

    6) [optional] clean up after yourself.

  • Guest

    The cross-fade stuff is bullshit, but listen to this hand mixed 0110 if you will…

  • GooGuGajoob

    The cross-fade stuff is bullshit, but listen to this hand mixed 0110 if you will…

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